Performing arts conference in Canada: ‘Staging Sustainability’

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

An international three-day conference on ‘Staging Sustainability: People, Planet, Profit, Performance’ will be the largest gathering of innovative sustainability practitioners in the world to focus on ways in which performance can positively affect our planet.


The conference ‘Staging Sustainability 2014’ will introduce the attendees to ground breakers working across Canada, on Broadway, in London, in community gardens — as well as all points in-between — to remake the way we work in the performing arts.

“Performance has always been about how the work affects people. Now we are ready to look at how our performances can affect a sustainable world.”

On 2-5 February 2014 the conference will be hosted at three downtown Toronto venues — MaRS Discovery District, 99 Sudbury, and The Theatre Centre — and will also be streamed to satellite locations across Canada. Live performances illuminating sustainability will be staged throughout the conference and into the weekend.

Performing arts professionals — producers, performers, technicians, funders, decision makers, and anyone interested in how the performing arts can support sustainability efforts — are invited to attend.

Session topics
• How does an artist talk about environmental issues through performance?
• What are approaches to Sustainability in the Arts? Makers, Presenters, Contexts.
• What part do designers play in bringing sustainable practice into performance?
• How are facilities integrating sustainable practices into their operations?
… and more.

‘Staging Sustainability 2014’ is presented by ArtsBuild Ontario and the Centre for Sustainable Staging at York University in partnership with Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA), Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT),Canadian Institute of Theatre Technology, Cape Farewell Foundation, Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, and MaRS Discovery District.

Centre for Sustainable Staging
The Centre for Sustainable Staging at York University brings together learning, applied research, and industry partners at the forefront of sustainability in performance and exhibition.

» Conference home page:

Culture|Futures is an international collaboration of organizations and individuals who are concerned with shaping and delivering a proactive cultural agenda to support the necessary transition towards an Ecological Age by 2050.

The Cultural sector that we refer to is an interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, inter-genre collaboration, which encompasses policy-making, intercultural dialogue/cultural relations, creative cities/cultural planning, creative industries and research and development. It is those decision-makers and practitioners who can reach people in a direct way, through diverse messages and mediums.

Affecting the thinking and behaviour of people and communities is about the dissemination of stories which will profoundly impact cultural values, beliefs and thereby actions. The stories can open people’s eyes to a way of thinking that has not been considered before, challenge a preconceived notion of the past, or a vision of the future that had not been envisioned as possible. As a sector which is viewed as imbued with creativity and cultural values, rather than purely financial motivations, the cultural sector’s stories maintain the trust of people and society.
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